Can you believe we’ve been stuck at home for almost a year now due to the pandemic?! I can’t even think of the right words to say. This past year has been A LOT and I realize it’s ok to not be ok about it.
It’s no secret that women have been handed the short end of the stick when it comes to how the pandemic has affected them. I’m not saying that men and children haven’t had a hard time but for women and especially mothers- it’s been extremely difficult. Whether it’s working from home, supervising their kids’ education, maintaining the household, cooking EVERY meal, it has been overwhelming to say the least. There are numerous headlines and news articles about how the pandemic has affected women and one thing is certain- we all want to scream “GIVE ME A BREAK.”
At first I thought I was being selfish in thinking that things are hard. Am I just imagining it? Just suck it up Sally. Think positive. It won’t be forever. These are the things I would tell myself. But almost 365 days later and WE. ARE. STILL. HERE.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I didn’t think that the coronavirus was going to be that bad. In the past, other viruses and outbreaks were contained. Nothing like this has ever happened in our lifetime. Who knew that life would cease to be “normal” in so many ways.
Since March 2020, I’ve taken mask-wearing, staying home, and social distancing seriously. I don’t go out that much. The first few months, I rarely went out and only for essentials. We’ve cooked and baked a lot with hopes that stay at home orders wouldn’t last that long. I thought that by summertime, things would be better.
Not everyone followed guidelines. Some justified their actions by saying it was a hoax and overblown by the media. Others blamed politicians and political rhetoric. Still more people looked at it as an inconvenience to their way of life and their rights. But what about the rights of the over half a million people who have lost their lives to the virus in a year? What about their rights? It doesn’t matter if they “had a preexisting condition” because the virus is what killed them. If there was no virus, the fact that they had a preexisting condition wouldn’t matter because prior to the pandemic, they were managing their lives just fine.
By the time it was fall and the holidays rolled around, it got extremely disheartening. People were getting tired of following guidelines– they coined it “Covid fatigue” or “pandemic fatigue.” We were just fatigued in every way. I tried my best to enjoy the holidays because Christmas is my favorite holiday! But if I’m being honest, there were moments when I just wept because of the mental load of everything. Add to that everything that surrounded the elections in the US– what a year.
I used to be a cross country runner when I was in high school. Runners always get a “second wind” during their long runs. Just when you’re so exhausted and feel like giving up or collapsing, you somehow find the strength to press on and keep going and finishing strong. I feel like right now is the time for our second wind. We’ve survived 2020. It’s a brand new year. There’s a vaccine available and many people are getting it. Businesses are starting to open up. There is hope for the future.
A lot of things SUCKED (for lack of a better word) but one thing that has kept me afloat is to have perspective. It doesn’t mean to deny the sadness, loneliness, frustration or disappointment but it does mean taking a step back when you feel those things and feel them and then move on. Sometimes it’s easy to just allow your feelings to overcome you and you lose sight of the fact that things won’t always be a certain way.
Protect Your Energy
I read this tweet the other day: “There’s a difference between people who inspire you to be better. And those that who make you feel bad for not being better. Unfollow the latter.” (Scarlett Longstreet) The way that people view the pandemic and how others are handling it are as varied as our opinions. But some people like to point out every little thing other people are doing. It might be a coping mechanism but constantly seeing that and hearing that is just so draining.
Personally for me, I have been trying hard not to judge the actions of others. I may not understand someone’s disregard for following CDC guidelines but I really don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life from social media or what they show. Ultimately, I can only control myself and my family. I’m not going to get a gold star on an imaginary chart for following guidelines and doing what is recommended by the CDC and state.
Constantly hearing and seeing people point fingers and being negative is just exhausting. I understand the need for accountability and personal responsibility but most people will do what they think is right. And if you accuse them rather than presenting facts and reasoning, they probably won’t listen or change. Protect your energy, what you allow in and what you spend it on.
So what was the point of this post. It certainly wasn’t to rank high in Google SEO pages for anything. It was just a brain dump of things I’ve been thinking. Maybe you’ve thought some of the same things too. Hopefully, we can commiserate together and at least we know that there is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay hopeful friends.